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Tips for Successful Teleconference or Video Conference Meeting: Etiquette Matters
Why Care About Successful Teleconference or Video Conference Meeting?
Today’s technology makes it convient to meet with most groups remotely, often from the home office. Teleconference and video conference meetings make the need to pack up and take a flight across the country or the globe to discuss the next company project less urgent and, certainly, less frequent. Teleconferences and video conferences only require that you pick up the phone or turn on the computer in order to connect with business partners or prospective customers.
However a meeting can quickly fail if we don’t think of a few rules to follow. In other words, just because you are attending a meeting via teleconference or video conference does not mean that you shouldn’t be mindful that this is still a meeting. You are there to be a successful part of the meeting, not a distraction. The following are a few tips to keep in mind as you schedule or participate in your next meeting.
Tips for a Successful Teleconference or Video Conference Meeting
1. Be on time. In fact, call in a few minutes early to insure your meeting will start at the appointed time. Every one’s time is valuable. Don’t squander the time you’ve saved attending a teleconference or a video conference meeting by “showing up” late.
2. Wait for each speaker to finish their sentence. You may feel that you should jump in and contribute. It’s easy to cut someone off mid-sentence. Don’t. It’s still impolite. Wait to speak before jumping into the discussion.
3. When in a video conference meeting, pay attention to what you look like and your backdrop. Don’t forget, others can see you just as you are seeing them. Using a laptop makes it possible for you to be anywhere. Make sure the setting is businesslike or as neutral as you can make it. Don’t, for example, check in from the baby’s nursery and don’t have clutter in the background.
4. If you are part of a teleconference, speak clearly and slowly. The phone can sometimes garble and mute your speech. This is the time to pay attention to your enunciation. Don’t rush your speech and don’t shout. That is equally bad and sometimes makes your speech even harder to understand.
5. End your meeting at the appointed time. You may be tempted to talk on and discuss topics unrealated to business. Resist the urge. Keep chitchat to a minimum and at the very beginning of the call, when you called in early and the meeting hadn’t started.
6. Don’t forget to give everyone the passcode if you are responsible for setting up the meeting. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to join a meeting and finding out you can only access it with a passcode the you, unfortunately, don have.
7. Always have an agenda. Structure your meetings so that people will know what you want to accomplish with the teleconference or video conference meeting.
8. Send the agenda at least 15 minutes before the teleconference or video conference meeting starts. This is your opportunity to resend the passcode in the event your attendees have lost it among their many other emails. Time is wasted when you don’t have an agenda established.
9. Always project an upbeat, friendly and confident attitude and tone in your voice. Now is not the time to sound fearful and hesitent. It may be misinterpreted as you not knowing what you are doing. Avoid extra sounds like long sighs or anything that seems as if you are bored. Be sure to mute if you have to cough or sneeze.
10. Remember to eliminate any background noise, especially if you work from home. No barking dogs, no crying babies, no television, no running water… You get the picture. These are distractions that will take away from your teleconference or your video conference meeting.
11. When in a video conference meeting, watch your body language. Avoid eating, yawning, slouching, etc. that will be seen on camera.
12. When you are the the lead in a web conference and you are sharing files, be sure to share only the files related to the meeting, not all the files that might be on your desktop.
13. If you are participating in a webinar, don’t engage in “sidebar” conversations, particularly not conversation that is directed at the presenter, unless you are asking or answering specific questions.
If you keep these simple tips in mind, you are on your way to a successful teleconference or video conference meeting.
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